Thursday, May 9, 2013

Last Day Of Winter Season 2013

Skiing steeps is always challenging. Practice is the only way to avoid anxiety but technique is the only way to be genuinely safe.  In this video clip I demonstrate good control on the steep –  remaining supple and in control of speed with linked turns. The main key to this is in the hips – specifically pulling back the outside hip and pushing the outside foot forwards while pivoting: Get this right and adapting to the terrain is more or less reflexive…

Gareth however has decided to demonstrate how NOT  to do it. He chose to ski solo on the unfeasibly dangerous and currently icy North face of the Grande Motte – which is also something NOT to do. My only condition prior to this was that he make his will and leave everything to me…

Gareth’s hip comes forwards and his foot is left behind. This causes him to become rigid and to lose control of speed  - the ski lagging behind acting as an accelerator – the body also has to rotate due to the hip blocking a clean movement across the skis…

Panoramic view of the North Face.


I managed to get some video here of the “two footed pivot” – where both skis are used together as a single platform. The demo isn’t perfect because both skis should really stay in contact with the snow all the time  - but that’s not really a problem if they don’t. Both skis would be used as a single platform like this when skiing in powder or in bumps – both when skiing directly in the fall line. When skiing steeps it’s best to have the feet apart for a more powerful independent use of the legs during the pivot – and for extra security. Most people allow the skis to pull the hip around the turn twisting the spine in the wrong direction. It’s not visible here that I’m doing the exact opposite.

Jumping or rebounding and pivoting in the air is something commonly seen in racing turns to quickly change line at the start of the turn. This is a precursor to learning to use retraction as I demonstrated being used in the first video clip in this post.

Gareth finally understands the combination of pulling the outside hip backwards and pushing the foot forwards from the start of the turn. You normally push the foot forwards when there is weight on it – but when retracting or jumping it will already go forwards during the part of the turn where the skis are in the air. I explained to Gareth that the hip being pulled back doesn’t create angulation unless the foot and/or knee are pushed forwards actively.

Last day up the mountain -  transformed snow and excellent skiing. Really an excellent day to finish on!


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